9 Best Sailing Bags – Sailing Bag Options

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Last Updated on October 20, 2023 by Brendan

When you sail a boat of any kind, you understand the importance of a good sailing bag to hold all your belongings. You may be heading to the changerooms, relaxing in the club after a long day of sailing, or storing your sailing gear below deck while on the water. Protection for your valuables like your watch, wallet, smartphone, spare clothes, and perhaps even your laptop becomes crucial.

Sailing bags are important to keep your gear secure and dry. Nowadays, there are some fantastic sailing bags available, including duffel bags, dry bags, backpacks, pouches, and accessory bags.

In this article, we’ll break down each of these categories and review the top selections for the best sailing bags currently available.

Main Types Of Sailing Bags

Sailcloth Bags

My personal sailing kit bag is a sailcloth duffel bag. I bought a sailing jacket and pants years ago from a local sailmaker, and he shipped it to me in a bag made from old sails – well it wasn’t actually “old” sailcloth, I assume it was offcuts of new sailcloth from sails that he just made or repaired.

sailing sailcloth bag

I thought “What a great idea! This is one of the best sailing bags I’ve seen… simple but effective.

Rather than throwing offcuts of the sailcloth into the trash, he stitched up these bags made from sails and offered them to local sailors. It’s a win for him, in that it cuts down on waste he has to get rid of, and it’s free advertising for him (he puts his logos on the bags and straps). After a day’s sailing, quite often you don’t take your sails back up into the club, but you almost always take your bag with you, so it’s advertising for him wherever you go.

They probably don’t take too long to make – they’re stitching 100’s of yards of sails every day, so a bag would be pretty quick and easy. He might have even got his apprentice to do it.

The bags are made out of sailcloth, so they are super strong. It also has long straps which makes it easy to carry. Mine has a really sturdy zipper and heavy-duty stitching as well, and the whole bag just feels like it will last a long time.

sailing bags made from sails

A few downsides – it’s not a waterproof sailing bag, and it doesn’t have any compartments, but for me, it’s not a massive deal. Having these features would be good sometimes though.

When I go sailing on yachts, I’m a bit paranoid about water getting into my car remote, phone, and wallet. Bags often end up all over the place when sailing in yachts – there’s often water in the bottom of the boat and you can get it coming in from rain, waves, or sail changes, so I just slip all of these important water-sensitive items into a zip-lock freezer bag and so far, it’s worked fine for me.

sailcloth duffel bags best sailing bags

But if you want something a little more practical and sturdy, then make sure that you check out some of our picks of the best sailing bags going around below…

Sailing Duffel Bags

Sailing Duffel Bags are similar in design to your standard gym bag. Typically they are waterproof, lightweight, and durable. They are usually made from polyester, have carry straps, and pockets, and are soft-sided for easy storage and to protect your sailing gear.

These are classed as the best sailing bags by many because they are often designed specifically for sailing, so can handle everything you throw at them

Helly Hansen Duffel 2 Water Resistant Bag

Helly Hansen Duffel 2 Water Resistant Bag
Key Specs
ModelDuffel Bag 2
Sizes30L, 50L, 70L, 90L
ColorsWide range of colors available
StrapsTop (x2) + shoulder (removable)
Material100% Polyester
Other FeaturesWater Resistant

This Helly Hansen Duffel Bag has a sporty and contemporary look. It is made from 100% polyester fabric which makes it durable and lightweight. This sailing bag is also waterproof and has top carry straps with removable padded shoulder straps.

The straps make this bag easily convert to a backpack if desired. There are two pockets, one on the outside with a zipper plus another on the inside. It also comes with its own external wash bag.

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Aqua Quest Waterproof Duffel Bag

Aqua Quest Waterproof Duffel Bag
Key Specs
ModelWhite Water Duffel
Sizes50L, 75L, 100L
Colors6 colors available
StrapsTop (x2) + shoulder (removable)
ClosureRolldown top with velcro guides
Other FeaturesWaterproof. Lifetime Warranty

In addition to functioning like a regular sailor duffel bag, this Aqua Quest product protects your valuables from the elements. It maintains durability while remaining lightweight, and effectively keeps out water, snow, dirt, dust, and sand.

It features a comfortable padded grip handle and includes a removable/adjustable shoulder strap. Two external mesh pockets and four webbed loops ensure you can store and haul your belongings and keep them dry. The manufacturer of this product has added a two-year ‘no worries’ warranty.

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Waterproof Sailing Dry Bags

Waterproof Sailing Dry Bags are designed for the elements. Made from durable materials such as tarpaulin, these bags are lightweight and have a tall, cylindrical shape with extra strong seams and a carry strap. They will hold a lot of things you want to keep safe.

MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag

MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag
Key Specs
ModelFloating Waterproof Dry Bag
Sizes5L, 10L, 20L, 30L, 40L
Colors18 colors available
Straps1 or 2 (depends on size)
ClosureRolldown top with buckle
Other FeaturesWaterproof. Floats on water

Lightweight, compact, and durable are all words that best describe the MARCHWAY Floating sailing dry bag. It is made from rip-stop tarpaulin fabric and features a sturdy welded seam. Even under extreme conditions, this bag will survive the trip and keep your valuables protected from the elements.

With a secure, watertight seal, whatever you load into it will remain dry at all times. It is easy to use and clean and will float on water if it ends up overboard.

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Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag

Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
Key Specs
ManufacturerEarth Pak
ModelWaterproof Dry Bag
Sizes10L, 20L, 30L, 40L, 55L
Colors8 colors available
Straps1 or 2 (depends on size)
ClosureRolldown top with buckle
Other FeaturesWaterproof. Waterproof Phone Case included

The Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag is another product that will float on the water should you accidentally knock it overboard. It is lightweight, durable, and waterproof.

It has a comfortable shoulder strap. It is extra strong allowing it to be packed full of goodies like phones, cameras, and more!

They also come in a range of colors and sizes.

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Sailing Backpacks

Sailing Backpacks are much like a standard backpack but with some great extra features. Most are waterproof and made of durable material, such as vinyl tarpaulin, and look great.

Sailing backpacks are designed for both functionality and attractiveness. They come with pockets and straps and are available in large sizes. They allow the packing of various items ranging from clothing to valuables. Plus, they feature additional pockets to help keep organized.

Gill Race Series Team Backpack

Gill Race Series Team Backpack
Key Specs
ModelRace Team Backpack
Straps1 top and 2 shoulder straps
MaterialPVC Tarpaulin
ClosureRolldown top with zipper
Other FeaturesWaterproof. Welded seams

It’s a backpack with a difference. This Gill sailing bag is huge. It will hold up to 35 liters of stuff in a waterproof, durable PVC tarpaulin-constructed space. There are a number of different compartments including a large pocket in the front.

It is padded for comfort and is highlighted by a stylish design that will keep clothes and extras dry and easy to access when needed. The seams are welded, not stitched which makes them stronger and longer-lasting.

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FE Active 30L Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack

FE Active Waterproof Backpack
Key Specs
ManufacturerFE Active
ModelDry Bag
Straps1 top and 2 shoulder straps
MaterialPVC Tarpaulin
ClosureRoll top with buckle
Other FeaturesWaterproof. Welded stitching

It’s lightweight and a waterproof sailing backpack that floats. The FE Active Dry Bag Backpack will keep your essentials dry and easy to find. Made from vinyl tarpaulin, the seams are welded and there is a solid roll-top closure that provides a watertight seal.

Other great features include a reinforced one-handed strap, chest strap, and comfortable shoulder strap. It also contains elasticized webbing and mesh-netted pockets for additional storage. With contemporary styling, this bag fits in with any type of extreme adventure you can throw at it.

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Sailing Accessory Bags & Pouches

Not every day out on the water calls for a large storage solution. However, if all you plan to protect from the elements are a number of smaller items or even your laptop computer, you’ll find sailing accessory bags and pouches designed to meet your specific needs.

Waterproof, lightweight, and durable, your electronics or other valuables will be protected and safe. Made with seals, zip pockets, and straps, you’ll be able to take your things on your next day out on the water and keep them dry.

Blue sky BASICS Waterproof Pouch

Key Specs
ManufacturerBO KAI LUN
ModelWaterproof pouch
Sizes9.0″ x 6.7″ (when sealed)
Colors5 colors
Straps1 waist strap
MaterialWaterproof PVC, nylon waist strap
ClosureSnap lock, fold down, fasten with velcro
Other FeaturesWaterproof. Floats

The blue sky BASICS are ultra-light waterproof pouches. They are designed to keep your valuables safe from water and theft. Available in a 2-pack, the pair weighs less than a quarter of a pound but are durable and effective.

The pouch includes three zip lock seals to keep your accessories dry and an adjustable strap to keep your essentials secure by your side.

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Aqua Quest Storm 100% Waterproof Laptop Case

Aqua Quest Storm Waterproof Laptop Case
Key Specs
ManufacturerAqua Quest
ModelStorm Laptop Sleeve
Sizes11″, 13″, 15″, 17″
Colors6 colors available
Straps1 carry handle
MaterialNylon, Neoprene
ClosureDouble ziplock seal with velcro closure
Other FeaturesWaterproof. 5 mm sleeve for shock protection

When you have your laptop with you sailing, it stands a good chance of getting wet. With the Aqua Quest Storm Laptop Case, you just insert, zip and water won’t get anywhere near it. The case is completely waterproof, lightweight, and durable.

It is designed with a low profile that is specifically for a laptop. The sleeve is padded so it will hold your laptop securely and the double zip-lock seal keeps water out. The welded seams give it strength. The manufacturer has attached a lifetime ‘no worries’ warranty to this product.

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Why Choosing The Right Sailing Bag Is Important

I’ve been sailing for well over 10 years, and I’ve been storing my gear in a sailing bag for just as long. When I started sailing, I had no idea what a sailing bag was and whether or not I needed one. I was simply told to get one… so I did. I went to my local sailing store, bought the first model I saw, and then went on my merry way.

The sailing bag I got was adequate, but it wasn’t great. It just had enough room for all my sailing gear, but it was certainly not the best bag out there. As time went on, I started paying more attention to other sailors’ bags, and I quickly realized that mine was not the best option.

If you’ve ever been sailing, you know how important it is to have a good sailing bag. But you might not know why. There are a few reasons why a sailing bag is such an important tool… understandably many of them are about convenience and practicality, rather than fashion.

Things To Consider When Choosing The Right Sailing Bags

The right sailing bag is one that is versatile, durable, and easy to use.  Take your time choosing.

If you’re sailing, you want your bag to be able to hold all the things you need to get the job done. This means that the size you require may vary depending on the type of sailing you do and what you like to carry, but it also means that your bag will be quite big. You want a bag that is going to be durable and easy to carry.

A good sailing bag will not only keep your gear protected from the elements but will also be easy to carry. This is why some people choose waterproof bags, or if they carry a laptop, padded options are also available. Long, strong, comfortable carry straps or handles are a must, and a zipper that will not fail when exposed to saltwater and the sun is also critical.

With so many choices out there, how can you decide which sailing bag is the best one for you?

Best Sailing Bags… What’s Your Pick?

There are many types of sailing bags, but the best sailing bags all have the same basic requirements – lightweight, durable construction, and waterproof. Some come with a specially designed airtight seal while others have zippers.

Each has straps to allow you to carry the bag wherever you need it to be. A few styles will actually float on the water should they get knocked overboard. All contain compartments for added security when storing valuables.

Often when out on the water it’s a concern that your valuables and gear can get wet. If you share this concern, then you’ll want to invest in one of the best sailing bags you can afford to keep your essentials from getting damaged.

Before you go out to purchase a bag, you should know what to look for and what you want. There are many different things you need to be aware of before you purchase a sailing bag. If you enjoy sailing, you should definitely consider investing in a good quality sailing bag. A good sailing bag will last a long time and make your life a lot easier. Because it’s hard to know what to look for, we hope that our picks of the best sailing bags that we have provided above have helped to narrow down the options for you.

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About Brendan

Brendan has over 30 years experience sailing dinghies, yachts, and windsurfers, but has recently started Laser sailing. "I found it difficult to find all the information that I needed when I started sailing my Laser, and I am sure that others have had the same problem. So I combined all the information I could into this website to help other Laser sailors get the most out of this sport. If you have any questions or comments, let me know... I will get back to you as soon as I can."

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